My Slow Living Experiment

The following post began life as a museletter. It was hugely popular so I’ve decided to share it in a blog post. If you’d like to join the thousands of others who have signed up for my museletters (it’s free), you can do so by clicking here. xo

Last month (April 2021) I decided to conduct a little experiment.

My word of the year is trust so I decided to trust the idea that I could embrace slow living for one month and see what happened.

Would girl&duck fall apart? Would I completely forget that I’m a writer? Would the house disappear under weeds, washing and neglected To Do lists?

My fears felt very real.

Which is how the cleverest fears present themselves, yeah?

But first, how did ‘go slow’ look for me?

Basically it meant allowing myself to go with the flow. To structure my workload intuitively without doubting myself and my instinctive ability to simply KNOW what needs to be done, what’s right for me and when.

More focus on the simple pleasures, too.

Catching myself if I was RUSHING TO THE NEXT THING rather than being present.

Observing the details, the little things— the steam from my teacup, the cobwebs on the cat’s whiskers, the fall of sunlight across the grapefruit tree.

It also meant allowing things to NOT get done and being at ease with that.

Basically, it was all about breathing.

Allowing.

Honouring the gift of life.

Trusting.

Let me describe my month in words AND pictures. We are, after all, kidlit creators…

GOT DONE IN APRIL (while going slow)

• Made orange peel decorations for my Samhain/Halloween altar

• Made a fig cake (using figs from my neighbour’s tree)

• Opened the Duck Pond for a new intake

• Booked Anna Walker for a Duck Pond masterclass (thank you Manda).

• Finished writing and editing book one in a new Junior Fiction series

• Brainstormed book two in the same series

• Went to Melbourne for a three day HOLIDAY! 

• Packed away my summer clothes (not hard, I keep my clothes to a minimum)

• Explored  new ‘shelving’ options in the kitchen (see pics above)

• Knitted a scarf that is FULL OF MISTAKES.

• Scheduled a Junior Fiction e-course for May. (It’s not to late to join us!!)

• Gathered pine cones to use as fire starters.

• Sanded down an old chest of drawers (still more to go on that project!)

• Potted mint and parsley, and planted borage for the bees.

• Wrote to YOU!

And so on.

All this happened without me pushing, striving, agonising, beating myself up, HURRYING.

Guided by my slow and gentle policy, I decided to ignore the mistakes. Because of this, my scarf now tells a story. I can proudly show everyone the section I was knitting when I was watching the Mary Shelley film! Then I can point to my ‘line in the sand’ where I knitted a row of plain straight across the rib and pushed on gallantly…

When we gently document all we have done/felt/experienced each month, we can see how full and varied our lives really are.

We can see the patten of our life emerging, evolving, expressing and asserting itself—despite our best efforts to control every squeaky, tedious, teeth-gnashing detail.

I think, (I wonder), if this makes us better writers and artists? I suspect it might.

I will keep you posted as my experiment continues…

Yours sincerely, gently and slowly

Jen xo

This is a beautiful, gentle and playful course. But don’t be fooled! You will learn HEAPS. I’ve written 17 Junior Fiction books and I LOVE sharing my knowledge—while at the same time ensuring emerging authors thrive and SHINE. Join us, you will love this journey!

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